Differences Between Dungeon Defenders & Dungeon Defender II

Last Updated on May 1, 2017

Recently some friends of mine got me to check out the sequel to Dungeon Defenders, a multiplayer tower defense game that was extremely fun a while back.

Dungeon Defenders II has been in early access for a very long time now and there have been a lot of additions to it since then. There are a decent amount of differences between the two and I figured it wouldn’t hurt to list the good and the bad changes from the previous game.



The Good

There are plenty of changes that have been made from the original Dungeon Defenders that I’m pretty happy about!


Better Graphics/Animations

Although I didn’t mind the overall art style of the original game, they have heavily improved upon the graphics and animations in this one.

From the characters, movement, the different levels and weapon graphics – you can tell that the developers really wanted to focus on improving the look and feel from the original.

The characters for example are a lot “thinner” in comparison. They don’t seem like these big headed heroes, cartoonish heroes anymore.


Improvements On Mechanics

The maps, how abilities/towers are built and the importance of tower placement are some of the mechanics that have been changed and, in my opinion, improved upon.

Maps are improved by adding in different traps that you can activate and it’s a bit easier to tell where enemies are going to be coming from and what not. That and the maps are a bit more complex as you move forward through the campaign.

This makes tower placement a lot more important than it was in the first game. You need to really know the angle and placement as the towers are complete game changers. This wasn’t as much of the case in the first game.

Abilities and towers use separate types of mana this time around. Blue mana is for your heroes abilities and green mana is for your towers.

Blue mana regenerates overtime and green mana you collect from chests and enemies.

In the first game, everyone shared the same chests so you had to make sure to keep it fair as far as getting mana from chests. In the second one, the chests are client side meaning that everyone will have their own mana. This is also true for pickups such as coins and gear. No more sharing, everyone has their own loot!


More Of A Challenge

Scaling is important and it’s done pretty well in Dungeon Defenders II. I can’t quite recall how well the scaling worked in the first game but I know that this one is a bit more challenging.

From harder bosses to increased levels of enemies depending on the level of your hero and other heroes from other players, there is a good challenge to be had with most levels.

For obvious reasons, the first few levels aren’t going to be extremely hard even when soloing. There is a hard mode but it doesn’t increase your loot or anything like that which is kind of a bummer but at least the increased challenge is there.

I haven’t had to go into hard mode though quite yet. Normal mode provides enough challenge to keep things interesting and fun, especially when playing with others!


The Bad

Not everything is an improvement from the first game and maybe some of these points are more opinion-based but I’ll let you be the judge of that.


A Lot Less Customization

In the first game you were able to pick different colors for your heroes and you were able to unlock costumes by beating certain levels and challenges.

That has all changed with Dungeon Defenders II. You cannot pick any color combinations and you can only upgrade one piece of cosmetic on a hero without paying any real money.

I suppose this makes sense since it’s a free-to-play title, they need to make their money somehow. But it would have been nice to be able to at least change the colors around of the hero. It’d also make the skins that you pay for more interesting!

The first title allowed you to use RGB sliders and really get creative with the colors of your hero. I miss this feature and I don’t see why they didn’t add it into the game.

I miss the old customization options from the first game!


No Local Play

Another part of the first game that I enjoyed was that I was able to play split-screen with a friend. Offline play was a lot of fun and split-screen allowed for some awesome times.

This isn’t the case anymore with the second game and I’m not sure why. Even the private tavern needs to be connected to the server so if you don’t have any internet connection, you’re not going to be able to play.

This is a bummer but maybe they’ll be adding this as a feature in the future. It has been in early access for a long time now, since 2014, so hopefully it’ll be added before the actual release. Though I wish they’d do early access right because it’s yet another example of how not to release a title in early access…


A Crazy Grind For Unlocking Heroes

It takes a long time to unlock the other heroes in the game. You’re able to unlock heroes from medals which you’re able to gain from playing through the campaign, completing challenges and doing daily missions.

The monk and the huntress only cost 10 medals each which is extremely easy to get, you’ll be able to unlock them within the first few games that you play.

However, the other heroes cost 10,000 medals each and it takes a very long time to get that many medals. You can also buy the heroes with gems but that costs real money and I don’t see the point in that.

Again, I understand that it’s a F2P game and that they need to make money somehow but it would have been nice to have less of a grind to unlock the other heroes. I didn’t mention it above, but the other heroes are actually pretty awesome. They’re worth grinding for, just wish it was less of a grind.

Another thing I don’t like about the heroes is that each hero levels up at the same time. Meaning that if you reach level 30 with your monk hero then your other heroes are going to match that level. It’s a lot faster to catch up to your friend’s levels this way but it also makes leveling up a bit more boring.


An Overall Improvement

With everything considered, I think that Dungeon Defenders II is a good overall improvement from what the previous game had to offer.

Better mechanics, better graphics and more fun with challenges and better bosses, can’t go wrong there! I would have liked to see more customization and a bit less of a grind to unlocking more heroes but with those points aside, it’s a good upgrade.

So, have you played Dungeon Defenders II?

What would you like to see added into the game before the official release?

Let me know in the comments below! 😀

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